The State – 04/24/23

Rachel Fulton

Welcome to the last week of The State for the school year!

Today’s weather forecast is predicting partly to mostly cloudy skies with a high of 49 degrees and a low of 31 degrees.

MSU board refuses to release Nassar documents to attorney general

Michigan State University’s Board of Trustees confirmed this past Friday that it will retain attorney-client privilege over thousands of long-withheld documents relating to the university’s handling of disgraced ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar and not comply with the state attorney general’s recent letter demanding the records.

The request — sent by Nessel in hopes of reopening her investigation into “how and why the University failed to protect students” — includes email and text communications to and from 20 MSU leaders and employees, records of internal complaints and investigations and personnel files of those who worked with and above Nassar during his time at MSU.

The insurers have argued that MSU’s failure to act on reports of Nassar’s abuse leave the university outside its policies and on the hook for the settlement. Today, the legal battles with all but one of those insurers are resolved. If a settlement isn’t reached, MSU and that insurer will resolve the dispute in a jury trial beginning on Oct. 30.

Nessel did release a statement on the board’s decision, saying that she expected more from the board’s new leadership and members.

The “release” of the documents would not immediately make them public, according to MSU Spokesperson Emily Guerrant. They would instead be turned over to Nessel for use in her investigation.

However, with the attorney-client privilege exemption no longer at MSU’s disposal, they could become available through the Freedom Of Information Act. MSU is allowed 15 business days to process those requests, though possible fees and redactions could end up adding additional weeks to the processing time.

ASMSU elects Vice President of Internal Affairs, Vice President of Student Allocations in final election night

Candidates Connor Le and Bhawna Vaswani were elected Vice President of Internal Affairs and Vice President of Student Allocations in the final night of elections for Associated Students of Michigan State University.

Just prior to the meeting being called to start, VPIA candidate Logan Baker pulled out of the race for Vice President of Internal Affairs, leaving Le, a history and political science sophomore, as the only person running.

After taking a quick recess, the next election of the night was for Vice President of Student Allocations, with three candidates ready to step into the role.

Now elected, Vaswani plans to promote transparency, accessibility and inclusivity in the funding process.

New labs and lecture hall unveiled in renovated packaging building

After 14 months of planning and construction, the newly renovated packaging building was unveiled to donors and leadership on the construction of the building. Until this past year, the College of Packaging’s building had not been renovated since 1986.

Following funds raised by donors, groundbreaking began in April 2022. College of Packaging Director Matt Daum said the vision for the renovations came from the history of the school and what alumni have done for the institution.

Daum said the old space needed to be updated for modern-day teaching and research. He also said the old building did not honor the alumni that came through it.

The unveiling ceremony showed off areas including the Ring Container Technologies Innovation Hall, which serves as a collaboration space in the main corridor of the building with open seating and study pods.

Other renovations included laboratory spaces like a sustainability lab, which is a combination of two labs for polymer recycling and paper coating technology.

Interim president Teresa Woodruff said this expansion of the school would “elevate excellence” for years to come, demonstrating the confidence of the future of the College of Packaging.

Based on original reporting by Alex Walters, Maddie Dallas and Liz Nass.